Blake Bryson

The ITI houses numerous prominent researchers who are tackling some of the world's biggest problems. I see the ITI as a place where I can collaborate with these domain experts to build the skillset needed to begin addressing these issues.” 

Hometown: Limerick, Ireland

Year: Second-year PhD student

Program: Chemical Engineering

Mission Areas: Advanced Manufacturing and MaterialsBiotechnologyEnvironment and Energy

Lab: Syed Mubeen Research Group

Advisor:  Syed Mubeen, assistant professor of chemical and biomedical engineering

What do you work on and what do you enjoy most about your work? 

I work on using machine intelligence to guide benchtop experiments. The overall goal of the research is to predict new high activity oxygen electrocatalyst structures and experimentally verify their activity. I like how there is a give and take between my computational work and my laboratory work. Some lab experiments inform my computations, and some computations guide my lab experiments. I enjoy the flexibility of being able to go from tackling a computational problem at my desk to setting up a new experiment in lab.

What achievements are you most proud of? 

I am proud to be the first person in my family to pursue a STEM degree. Earlier this summer, I managed to bring my spider plant back from the brink of death. I am also delighted to have achieved the opportunity to pursue graduate education at the University of Iowa.

What are your goals for the future? What do you hope to be doing professionally in 10 years?

I hope to continue working towards solutions to combat climate change. I want to use the skills I am gaining at the University of Iowa and the University of Iowa Technology Institute (ITI) to work on renewable energy technologies, continuing the work towards making devices like fuel cells and batteries safer, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly.